3. july 2019
The first and most obvious thing that penetrates from this worshiped icon is that God is a community of love (1 John 1:4, 8-16), is a love that shortens distances (Luke 15:4-10), even the greatest ones (Psalms 139:7-10; 1 John 3:16), a love which in humility becomes a guest (Mark 2:15-17; Philippians 2:6-8). Three persons mean life, two infertility. The inability to give life to Abraham and Sarah came to such a point that every hope was in vain. (Genesis 18:12) God, who has become a guest, helps Abraham come out of the shell he and Sarah have made.
Abraham comes out of the tent, accepts the guests, and it is their presence that inspires cordial hospitality within him. Two will find their true mutual relationship only if they engage it with the three who came. As the poet Ivanov says, "Let the third be present, and let the third be Love." Love from above and love from below. Writing the Holy Trinity would mean writing absolute love that has divine nature. It would mean to write three persons in that love that characterizes them, creating complete unity - the One God (1 John 10: 30). But this is not possible. A visit to Mamre pulls Abraham out of the tent, engages him and puts him in service. The gestures he uses are specific, tied to every day: go for water, wash your feet, kill a calf, pour milk, sit down and talk. This scene is an image, an icon in which the unpredictable, inaccessible love of the Most Holy Persons intervenes.
This love, which stems from the deepest of the Father's heart, becomes palpable, human, marked by history and culture in the icon at the Oak of Mamre. Love is the extraordinary reality that inextricably connects the Creator with creation. It is the icon of the one who communicates in it. The infertility and mortality of Abraham and Sarah, through the love of a welcomed guest, turns into a fertility and a life of a generation that has no end. Through love, he truly goes from death to life (1 John 3:14) On the right side is an angel who portrays the Father in the golden garment. Gold is the light that does not set, the faithfulness of God. God is Holy precisely because He is absolutely faithful because His relationship is never interrupted. Thus, the Father is Holy. Through the holiness of God shines the blue color that he carries on his chest.
It represents what God has in his heart: the humankind. Christian antiquities and Jewish tradition combine heart (kardia) and reason (nous). The image of the Father lets the mystery that is hidden from the ages in mind, that is, in the heart of the Father: (cf. Ephesians 3:9-12), to save man, to bring him to heart. Behind the Father is the house, the house of the Father, where He awaits us. The Son (middle angel) who is inclined towards Him and wants to bring us to that house where there are many spaces. That's where the Son is going to prepare our space (John 14, 2-3). In this house, the exile of Adam ends, and the Son brought him again to the Father. In the Holy Scriptures we find many images that represent the home of man.
Scripture describes many moments in which one wants to take root somewhere, to find a permanent home, but all these images find their true meaning in the house of the Father, in which one can return only if he truly recognizes God as his Father. The Icon from Mamre represents the true fruit of the tree of life: under the tree we find the Lord. His right shoulder is large and powerful, for it is the arm of the Father, the Creator, which He created all things with (cf. John 1: 3)
It is the outstretched shoulder by which the Lord delivered the Israelites from slavery (Exodus 6:6), the right hand that has defeated the enemy (Exodus 15:6), especially the enemy, which is death itself (1 Corinthians 15:26). The Right of Christ is a strong arm that "captures" the lost (Psalms 139:10). He is dressed in a red royal robe, on which he has the overcoat of blue paint on the sign of His incarnation. God has incarnated into man.
The angel to the left in the green garment is the Spirit of God that was floating over the waters during the creation, reviving and renewing everything, that moves all creation toward the Creator from within. The Holy Spirit has a cloak of pink, which is the colour of exceptional mission and joy. It is, thus, an inner guest who flows the love of the Father into the human heart and enables man to be the image of the God of Love (cf. Romans 5:5) Therefore, the Holy Spirit constantly reminds man of the truth that he is a son. That is why he calls in him, "Abba!" (Galatians 6:4). The Holy Spirit reminds us that the word by which the man was created was spoken by the Father, and that the sons' response is expected of us. It is the Holy Spirit who makes man Christoformous, that is, to the image of the Son of God.
Behind the angel of the Holy Spirit is a rock. The hill is the place where God appears. On the top was the cloud where God spoke, and the shadow of the cloud of God's revelation, which Luke also indicates in the proclamation (Luke 1:35): The Holy Spirit is the one who communicates God, who shows God, who points at him. The rock is at the same time the rock of the desert of Exodus, the rock from which the water springs.
All these images find their full meaning in the Holy Spirit, in the Divine Person, who is always put in the service of another in the Holy Scriptures. The Holy Spirit is always bowing to the other, always in relation to the other. The table around which They sit, and that is also the throne, is the eucharistic table, or the sacrificial altar.
A SPIRITUAL LINK
The Holy Trinity is the community of love that God invites us to. Through this merciful and unconditional love, salvation and "confirmation" of every person as a child of God came to the world.
Špidlík, T. – Rupník, M., Viera vo svetle ikon, Oto Németh, Bratislava, 2004.
Троица Ветхозаветная, in Иконография восточно-христианского искусства, http://icons.pstgu.ru/
Молитва иконе троица ветхозаветная, in Православный информационный портал «Вера», http://molitva-info.ru